The Pope Francisco affirmed today that refugees do not do sightseeing, but are “brothers and sisters who had to escape” his countries in conflict and risk their lives.
The pope participated in a meeting of the organization Scholas Occurrentes in Rome, where he was able to speak with young people from 41 countries, some present and others connected remotely.
Francisco asked to open the hearts of those who came to Europe because “they do not come to do tourism”, but they risk their lives and see the need to “escape from a prison that does not allow them to live as free men”.
The pontiff lamented the migratory crisis that has been going on for years in the Aegean Sea, the Atlantic, with the arrival of refugees at Canary Islands, and in the Mediterranean, which “is becoming the largest cemetery in the world.”
He also condemned the terrible conditions that refugees experience and gave as an example the shores of Libya: “Those who are taken later by the mafias, they exploit them, torture them, they sell them to women,” he said.
He asked the young women if they could imagine being sold as merchandise, “this happens today, with girls like you, with young mothers.”
# 25novembre #PapaFrancesco: “When parliamo di rifugiati no parliamo di cifre ma di nostri fratelli e sorelle. I know #rifugiati che hanno impiegato anni per arrivare in Europa. E lo hanno fatto per poter vivere! ” @InfoScholas pic.twitter.com/okgNcXFjLM
– Vatican News (@vaticannews_it) November 25, 2021
As he has done on various occasions during his pontificate, Francis recalled the importance of the “culture of encounter” for societies to stay together and said that, if it is forgotten, “the heart fossilizes” and falls “into the socially correct ”, Which is what makes people lose their personality.
Pope Francis will travel from December 2 to 6 to Cyprus, Greece and will revisit the lesbos island, symbol of the arrival of migrants to Europe and which he already visited on April 16, 2016.
Scholas Occurrentes is an International Organization of Pontifical Law (created by the Vatican) present in 190 countries and that, through its network, integrates more than 400 thousand educational centers.
With information from EFE